tv ABC World News Now ABC July 15, 2010 3:05am-4:30am EDT
amiri claims he had been kidnapped and tortured by the cia. "the washington post" reports this morning he was paid $5 million to provide intelligence about iran's nuclear program. and after a very deadly 24-hour period for american forces in afghanistan, some key lawmakers are questioning war policy. >> and the british military demands answers after a deadly attack. abc's sonia gallego is in london this morning. >> reporter: good morning, rob, tanya. the number of casualties in afghanistan is continuing to climb. a grim consequence of the surge by coalition troops in the country. in the past 24 hours alone the lives of eight american soldiers were lost in attacks. that includes a taliban raid on a police compound in kandahar. military commanders have warned that the number of casualties will continue to climb as troops are trying to take control of taliban territory in southern afghanistan. now on capitol hill, voices of opposition to the war, increasingly being heard. democrat john kerry, the chairman of the senate foreign
relations committee, notes that the afghanistan war surpassed vietnam as the longest military campaign in u.s. history. republican richard lugar demands more clarity about the administration's direction. also tributes were being paid to three british soldiers who also lost their lives in violent attacks, kill the by a rogue afghan soldier who has since gone on the run. >> they've got to reassure us they're doing everything they can to minimize it happening again. but for those who it has happened to in that patrol base, this will have been a horrific event. >> as the british casualties also continue to climb, it is becoming increasingly difficult to defend the british presence in afghanistan. also, this morning afghan president hamid karzai endorsed a u.s. plan to set up local police forces to help afghan villagers protect themselves. >> thanks to sonia gallego in london. officers from north korea and the american-led united nations force that helps protect
south korea came face to face this morning. on the agenda was the sinking of that south korean navy ship back in march. 46 south korean sailors were killed in that incident. this morning's talks set the stage for higher-level discussions. north korea denies it was responsible for the sinking. president obama could have a sweeping financial overall bill on his desk today or tomorrow. senate republicans will make one more attempt to block it today. but three gop lawmakers support the bill and that's likely to be enough to pass it. democrats say it reins in big banks and protects consumers. republican critics claim it is another example of big government. the annual running of the bulls has ended in the spanish town of pal paloma. nine people were hurt in the last run, the bloodiest one at this year's festival. one bull at the back of the pack fell and then began charging into the crowd. three people were gored but no one was seriously hurt. those folks a lot braver than i am. >> absolutely, wow.
they are cleaning up in the upper midwest this morning a day after ten tornados ripped through the region. powerful storms left widespread flooding and property damage across wisconsin. there was flash flooding in the wausau area. trees and power lines were knocked down and nearly 5,000 customers lost power. now here's your thursday forecast. those storms move south and west today, hitting st. louis, chicago, detroit, and indianapolis. severe weather also in eastern colorado. a little stormy in the southeast. heat advisories from dallas and new orleans up to the midwest. >> 87 in the twin cities. 93 in detroit. 91 in kansas city. 80s in new york and boston. 90s from baltimore to miami. and 90s from boise to albuquerque. 114 in phoenix. >> hot. >> too hot for me, stay indoors in phoenix, folks. >> air conditioning. it is the time of year the city of lights truly lives up to its name. >> thousands of people descended on paris to mark bastille day.
a spectacular display of fireworks lit up the skies behind the eiffel tower, the final event in a long day of festivities there. >> the holiday commemorates the storming of the bastille prison in 1789, and that led to the french revolution. the fireworks were a special treat because rain fell during other holiday events. look at that, gorgeous. >> great scene there. good night for that. >> could the eiffel tower look more beautiful. >> we'll be right back with more more beautiful. >> we'll be right back with more "world news now." more beautiful. >> we'll be right back with more "world news now." assistance getting around their homes. there is a medicare benefit that may qualify you for a new power chair or scooter at little to no cost to you. stay tuned for this important medicare benefit information and free scooter guarantee. imagine...
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blood flow. dan harris reports on the operation. >> reporter: the pump that was implanted into the former vice president's heart last week is called a left ventricular assist device, lvad, a battery-powered device that goes next to the heart to give the main pumping chamber, the left ventricle, some extra juice. traditionally these pumps have been used as a short-term solution, to buy time for heart transplant candidates while they wait for their new heart. increasingly doctors are looking at lvads as a permanent fix for people like mr. cheney, who have severe congestive heart failure but may not be candidates for a transplant. would you describe this as an exciting development medically? >> we've been very excited about this. the main reason is a as you may know, there are a limited of number of donor organs available each year. so that there are literally thousands and thousands of patients who are on heart
transplant waiting lists who never get a heart transplant. >> reporter: the doctor says these lvads could potentially be lifesavers for hundreds of thousands of americans who have congestive heart failure, which is a condition where the heart weakens over time. often the consequence of frequent heart attacks. cheney, who's had five heart attacks since the age of 37 and is now 69 years old, said in a statement that the operation went very well and i am now rec recuperating." thanks to the lvad, he says, he should be able to resume his active life. dan harris, abc news. >> the technology is amazing. >> it really is. he had five heart attacks starting at age 37, he's had heart troubles for a large portion of his life, it's kind of amazing what he's been through. >> the science of it is what fascinates me. they're getting smaller and smaller, these implantable defibrillators as well. fascinating stuff. >> obviously working well after keeping him going after heart troubles over the years. coming up next, the young woman from new jersey who found herself in a harem thousands of
many young women dream of the hollywood lifestyle of fame and fortune. in some cases they'll do just about whatever it takes to make the dream come true. >> a young american woman is sharing her story about a dark journey to live that dream and then break out of it. juju chang reports. >> reporter: gillian lauren was living a life of luxury, earning $20,000 for six weeks, and living in a lavish palace fit for a queen. a controversial lifestyle. a forbidden world most have only seen in movies. >> i was told there was a new audition, this audition was to entertain rich businessmen in singapore. when they called me 3 told me
actually it wasn't a job at all, it was an invitation to be the personal guest of the prince of burr 90. >> reporter: with knots and butterflies in her stomach she boarded a plane and stepped off into an unimaginable world. just how opulent was the palace? >> it was unimaginably opulent. it wasn't even the palace that the prince lived in, it was just the palace that he would play in every night. >> reporter: the palace in brew 90. it's an oil-rich muslim country known for playboy royalty. this is the close administered world gillian entered as one of a half dozen of the prince's sexual companions. >> it took a little bit of time for me to connect the dots and realize that i was living in this modern take on a very ancient institution. >> a harem. >> a harem. >> reporter: she's not proud of where her life ended up but she says she doesn't want to make excuses. she grew up in middle-class new jersey, adopted by a loving family. gillian always had big dreams. she did well in school but also
sought the lights and stage in new york city. >> i dropped out. >> reporter: after graduating high school at 16, gillian headed to new york university. but says she quickly got bored and left school. >> i found that supporting myself in new york was extremely difficult. and i started stripping. and then i was introduced to escort work. >> reporter: gillian says she doesn't want to glamorize high-priced prostitution but she doesn't shrink from the controversy. you refer to him as your boyfriend. what do you mean by that word? it's so loaded in your context. >> he felt like a boyfriend to me. at times. and i realize that that may sound crazy. from what i know now, it sounds crazy even to me. but there were ways in which the relationship really looked like that and felt like that to me. >> it wasn't just sex? >> it was not just sex, no. there was an intimate relationship between us that wasn't only sexual. there were real feelings on both
sides, i believe. >> reporter: on the surface she lived a glamorous life. on the inside she dealt with turmoil. >> i was 18 years old at the time and the prince was a 35-year-old man with three wives already. i am not absolving myself of behaving in a way that was careless, and certainly in hurting my parents and hurting the people around me. >> are you ashamed of yourself for that chapter in your life, when you look back? you're not? >> i'm not ashamed of myself. i'm saddened when i think of the girl who made those decisions. i was so beautiful and i was brave. and i didn't see that about myself then. and that makes me sad. >> reporter: gillian began to pave a new path that led her back to school, to writing. in some girls, my life in a harem, she said she tried not to write about this chapter in her
life but felt compelled. why are you talking about this? >> i think people tend to really simplify it and stereotype women who have been involved in prostitution, they're either victims or they're demons. women come from all different backgrounds and have all different motivations for doing this kind of work. >> reporter: once she worked through her demons she met the love of her life, got married, and adopted herself a little boy. how has beg a mother changed your life? >> it has changed how i feel about myself and how i feel about other people and how i treat the world around me. i just am transformed. >> our thanks to juju chang for that fascinating story. >> interesting story. her whole point is she doesn't want to glamorize prostitution, she just wants to give folks a realistic sneak peek into it. >> she certainly now has a budding career as a writer. she's finishing up revisions on her first novel.
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and your free hoveround collapsible grabber. call the number on your screen. "world news now" delivers your "morning papers." >> ah, yes. all the news, we have it right here. >> all the fun stuff now. >> that's right. "morning papers." this is the fun part of the morning. all right, we're going to start with one of my favorite stories which is the subway star wars story. apparently on the 6 train here in new york city, sitting this on your way to work, darth vader and storm troopers enter the subway car and arrest princess leia. we've got some video of it right there. that's right. what's so great about this is half the train is sort of like watching fascinated and taking pictures.
the other half is like, oh, come on, guys, i've got to get to work, i don't have time for this. >> the ironic part is even in new york those probably weren't the strangest people on the subway. >> that's right. part of a group called improv everywhere. they do these strange things. i saw them in brooklyn walking down the street with those trick dog leashes so everybody looks like they're walking around an invisible dog. >> there was some thing where they were on the subway without their pants. >> that's right. they went to work one day without their pants. think about it. there are a lot of i guess unemployed or underemployed actors in new york city, this helped them fill their time. >> that's a casual friday no, pants at work. admittedly i'm not much of a pet person and i think dogs are way cooler than cats. a cat actually gives his owner a little hug. this is your aww video of the day. >> aww! isn't that sweet. >> look at this. >> oh, i have two cats so i know all about that. >> you prefer cats over dogs? >> they're easier to take care of.
>> i got that. has a got ever hugged you like that? look at that. there you go. your sweet moment of the day. >> according to "the huffington post," there is a beautiful san francisco model crafted entirely out of jell-o. the san francisco-based artist liz hicock who creates scale models of cities using nothing but jell-o. she's won the best food as art medium. >> that's kind of cool. >> pretty amazing stuff. i love what she says about it. the translucent beauty of the composition first seduces the viewer, their fragility quickly becomes a metaphor for the transformation of artifacts. >> jell-o, let's eat it. this is my favorite. how much time do you think you spend getting ready for work in the morning? hair, makeup? >> too much time. >> this police officer in germany said, i give you 45 hours a year, my 15 minutes a day getting dressed and undressed, he said you owe me for that money. they took the issue to court. he won.
frustrating fix. bp's troublesome cap on a big oil well containment cap. is there progress? signs of stimulus. the criticism over federal money spent on road signs beside construction projects. and, together again. bristol palin's love story gets a new chapter. >> one thing we can say about bristol palin, sarah palin, and levi johnston, is there's a soap opera-esque quality to it. >> it's thursday, july 15th. >> from abc news, this is "world news now." >> never dull in the palin
household, is it. >> that it is not. >> good morning, joining us for vinita this morning, tanya rivero. good morning to you. >> very good morning to you, rob. >> been awhile since you've been here. you missed the hours so much you decided to come back. >> i couldn't wait to dive right in. i'm tanya rivero sitting in for vinita nair. >> good morning, everybody. turning to the news now. fingers are crossed along the gulf coast this morning. there's hope a crucial test of a new oil cap will finally end in some success. >> there's been one minor setback. a leak developed once a pressure test started. as we see from bp's live underwater pictures engineers are working to fix it. david muir reports. >> reporter: they start to test that massive new cap, weighing 150,000 pounds, bp hopes it will ultimately stop the flow of oil completely. and the test comes after government scientists and the coast guard put the test on hold. >> we did this to make sure that we were taking due care, and in some cases maybe an overabundance of caution to make
sure we didn't do irreversible harm to the wellbores. >> reporter: the test will now slowly close the separate valves on the cap one section at a time. bp hopes the cap fits tightly enough and is strong enough to hold back all the oil. able to assess the pressure every 12 seconds. thad allen saying progress reports every six hours. as for those concerns, much of them centered on the piping inside that blown-out well that extends some 13,000 feet into the sea floor. some scientists asking, once capped, can it withstand all of that pressure or would the trapped oil blow through any weak spots in that well? >> they have to be very careful when they close it down to make sure that pressure doesn't come up quickly. and cause any of the pipes to rupture. >> reporter: meantime, halted during this test process is the digging of that relief well, the permanent solution, which is now so close, four feet from the site of the troubled well, 150 feet down to go. we asked ra's louisiana's governor about this delayed decision. he told us the stakes are very
high. >> we are at a point we cannot afford for them to make this worse. we can't afford for them to do damage to this well. >> reporter: across the gulf they are hedging their bets. they've held out hope for too many other tries before. i'm david muir in new orleans. attorney general eric holder was in the gulf as part of the government's criminal and civil investigation into the oil spill. holder toured the alabama coastline to see the cleanup firsthand. he says companies other than bp could eventually be held responsible for paying some of the bills. >> we'll use all of the tools that we have to make sure that the american people don't pay a dime. >> holder says a task force was being formed to set up a process for dispensing bp's money. the oil company set aside $20 billion in a special fund. the federal reserve is taking a cautious view of the nation's economic outlook. fed governors after their last meeting issued concerns about europe's debt crisis, high unemployment in the u.s., and the stalled housing market. they also say they are reviewing options to stabilize the economy for the rest of this year, and
deciding to leave record low interest rates as-is. more than 3.5 million. that's how many jobs the white house says have either been created or saved by the $862 billion economic stimulus plan. but how much of that money is only going to brag about the stimulus projects? as jonathan karl reports, just keep an eye on the roadsides. >> reporter: there are nearly 11,000 construction projects like this now under way, paid for by the president's $862 billion economic stimulus program. creating jobs and also creating a lot of these. signs. popping up all over the country, touting projects that are putting america to work. spending on these signs varies from state to state. illinois officials told us they had ordered 950 of them at a cost of $650,000. about $680 per sign. pennsylvania told us they bought only 70 signs but at a cost of
more than $2,000 per sign. some states, including vermont and florida, have opted for no signs. putting the cash into construction projects instead. republicans call it a waste and accuse the administration of using taxpayer money to score political points. >> it's an unnecessary additional bureaucratic expense. i mean, what's the end result of those signs? it's nothing more than propaganda. >> reporter: the white house says they're just letting taxpayers know where their money is being spent, and that the total cost is only about $5 million. >> i believe that as a matter of spending, those signs account for about 3 cents out of every $100 that is spent on the recovery. >> reporter: but some of these things can be expensive. this sign touting a runway improvement project at washington's dulles airport cost $10,000. that's $10,000 for just one sign. the washington airport authority told us materials in that sign
were more expensive because they wanted it to be durable. on wednesday, the house rejected a republican bill that would have cut funding for those stimulus signs. so we're likely to see more of them in the weeks and months ahead. jonathan karl, abc news, capitol hill. senate republicans will make one more attempt to block a sweeping financial overhaul today. but three gop lawmakers are supporting the bill and could have the votes needed to pass it. democrats say it reins in big banks and protects consumers. but republican critics claim it's another example of big government. the final bill should be sent to president obama today or tomorrow. attorneys for former illinois governor rod blagojevich want more recordings of fbi wiretaps played at his corruption trial. they told the judge the tapes showed blagojevich in a more positive light than those already played in court. it seems at least some of those tapes will in fact be played. blagojevich's defense is set to begin on monday. former vice president dick
cheney has disclosed that he had a successful heart operation last week. the 69-year-old now has a small pump next to his heart to help it pump blood. cheney says he is recuperating at a hospital in northern virginia. he has suffered five heart attacks, the first when he was just 37. an fda panel of experts recommends keeping the risky diabetes drug avandia on the market. but it says avandia should be sold with new limits on who can take it. studies have linked the drug to an increased risk of both heart attacks and strokes. but the drug's maker says that's not true. >> there is no evidence to suggest the use increased the risk of cardiovascular morbidity. >> in making this plea to keep avandia on the market, i believe i am pleading for my life. >> glaxo, the drugmaker, is accused of not disclosing potential risks when they were discovered. now it's up to the full fda to make a final decision about the medicine. moving on to weather, here
is your thursday forecast. another day of severe storms in the midwest. gusty winds, large hail and a chance of tornados from st. louis to detroit. thunderstorms for the coastal carolinas, georgia and much of florida. heat advisories from illinois down to texas. >> and 90s in dallas, new orleans, and across much of the nation's midsection. 80s in boston and new york. phoenix hits 114. sacramento climbs up to 100. >> wow. that's getting hot. >> too much for me. the people of ohio have dethroned king james, but a woman in his hometown is about to cash in royally. >> big-time. four years ago now vinisha robinson paid five bucks for this lebron james pendant jersey at a yard sale. she assumed it was costume jewelry. even wore to it her high school. robinson recently had the pendant appraised. turns out the diamonds are real. >> estimated value, almost $10,000. robinson put the pendant up on
ebay. an athlete herself, she's hoping to come up with enough money to open her own gym. >> what a lucky catch. >> absolutely. although i got to say, buying diamonds on ebay makes me a little nervous. >> not always the real thing. imagine the person who had the yard detail did not check out on the value, they had 10,000 bucks on the front lawn. >> that's right. >> we'll be right back with more "world news now." diabetics on medicare! i'm a diabetic and i want you to know over 230,000 u.s. their diabetic supplies through liberty medical. and that begins with the one touch ultra 2 meter. easy to use, fast results... at no additional cost! liberty helps keep you on track by delivering diabetic supplies to your door...and filing your claims. i never feel i'm going to run out of anything.
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fresh. minty. ready! ♪ , hi. oooh, minty. [ sniffs ] so what do you think? fresh. [ female announcer ] for a fresh breath feeling that lasts up to 5 times longer, there's new scope outlast. this morning's "washington post" reports the cia paid an iranian nuclear scientist $5 million to spy. >> that scientist, however, claims the cia actually kidnapped him. no matter who you believe, that scientist just went home to
iran, a country of course in the middle of a worldwide dispute over nuclear weapons. chief investigative correspondent brian ross reports. >> reporter: the iranian defector left washington on a flight to the mideast. en route to iran. after more than a year in u.s. custody, shahram amiri now claims he never really defected, that he was kidnapped, drugged and tortured by the cia. a charge the u.s. flatly denies. >> mr. amiri has been in the united states of his own free will, and he is free to go. >> reporter: u.s. officials tell abc news that amiri defected in the spring of 2009 after working for several years as a spy for the cia inside the iranian nuclear program. officials say after amiri was relocated to tucson, arizona, he began to have second thoughts. in a battle of videos posted on youtube by the iranians and then the cia, amiri changed his story three times.
first he told iranian tv via computer phone he had been kidnapped. then in a cia-produced video amiri said he was happy to be in the u.s. then later he again claimed he was trying to elude u.s. agents and wanted to be reunited with his wife and son in iran. >> this happens all the time. defectors come across, they think it's a good idea, they get paid a lot of money. then once the boredom sets in and the loneliness, they realize the huge mistake. >> reporter: monday, amiri showed up in washington, d.c. at the iranian intersection of the pakistani embassy. before his flight home he told iranian television he had finally escaped from the hands of u.s. intelligence, something u.s. officials say he had to say to avoid being imprisoned or executed upon his return to tehran. >> if they want to keep up the pretense that he was kidnapped, they'll probably keep him alive. a couple of years as a public hero, after that i can't tell you. >> brian ross, abc news, new york. >> apparently amiri has landed back in iran this morning to a
warm welcome. how long that welcome will last, that's the question. >> the fact that he changed his story several times during the course of the investigation lends a lot of suspicion to the case. >> absolutely. >> we'll see how it turns out. >> absolutely. coming up next, the political family in the middle of a real-life drama. >> sarah palin's daughter and her reunion with levi johnston. why there's so much attention. that's next.
welcome back, everyone. now to my favorite story of the day. as long as sarah palin has been in the national spotlight, so has the rocky relationship of her daughter bristol and her long-time boyfriend levi johnston. >> first there was the pregnancy, then the breakup, the "playgirl" pictures, who can forget those, now the wedding bells. neal karlinsky has more. >> reporter: in the strange saga of bristol palin and levi johnston where else but the cover of "us weekly" could the couple make their big announcement. engaged again. >> bristol and levi have a
custody case coming up so they were trying to work out a custody arrangement. they met to talk about that. they decided to go for a long walk together. she started making fun of his straight-legged jeans and his hair. they both said, you know, we don't think we'd laughed like that in a year and a half. >> reporter: getting to this point has been difficult at best. a year and a half ago the couple burst onto the tabloid scene when bristol announced she was pregnant at 17 and found herself onstage at the republican national convention. levi was the father in a much-hyped relationship that didn't last. they broke up soon after their son tripp was born. levi spoke to us from his home in wasilla, alaska, at the time. the engagement is off? >> the engagement is off, yeah. >> and whose idea was that? >> it was both of ours. just us not -- me not being mature enough or something. >> reporter: since then, levi and bristol's lives couldn't have been more different. she became the voice of candy's foundation, to prevent teen pregnancy. >> don't let a teenage pregnancy take away your freedom. >> reporter: while she was
talking abstinence, he was posing for "playgirl." levi struck out on his own. making a series of appearances on talk shows. >> sarah doesn't do anything unless she gets something big from it. >> reporter: very publicly ruffling the feathers of his ex future mother-in-law, sarah palin. >> i call that porn, yes. so a bit heartbreaking to see the road that he is on right now. >> reporter: the war of words was at times brutal. in "vanity fair," levi accused sarah palin of not paying attention to her kids when the cameras aren't around. and he claimed she called her own down syndrome son trig retarded. then just two weeks ago he took it all back, saying his earlier statements about the family weren't true, calling them a youthful indiscretion. it turns out he had good reason to patch things up. >> bristol had texted her mother and said, i really want to be a family with levi. so sarah called levi and asked him to come over. he went in there, apologized
right away, and sarah laid out her list of conditions that he has to meet for her to embrace him. >> reporter: sarah palin once again levi's future mother-in-law, released a statement saying, bristol at 19 is now a young adult. we obviously want what's best for our children. bristol believes in redemption and forgiveness to a degree most of us struggle to put in practice in our daily lives." relationship experts describe the couple as a soap opera come to life. >> one thing we can say about bristol palin, even sarah palin and levi johnston, is that there's a soap opera-esque quality to it. we have the potential mother-in-law who's quite frightening, the young mother who's somewhat vulnerable and naive, and we have the good-looking, don juan playboy-esque type of father personality. >> reporter: there's talk already the engagement could be
nothing more than a shrewd first step towards a reality show. regardless, bristol palin's reality right now is that she's a very young single mom who has made no secret of how hard it is to be on her own. >> i would be struggling just to keep things together. >> reporter: so, after so much bitterness, can it work? >> they need to really work on forgiving one another and starting over again. it doesn't mean forgetting. but it means moving forward with an open mind and a willingness to treat each other better than they have in the past. >> reporter: for now, the young lovers say they're not living together or even sleeping together. and they want to get married as soon as possible, so they can all live under one roof as a family. i'm neal karlinsky in anchorage, alaska. >> certainly is a soap opera. >> i am fascinated on many levels. i don't know, the word wars were so intense between sarah and levi, i don't know how they patch that up and move on. >> between levi and the whole family.
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finally this half hour, as the summer travel season heats up airline passengers are discovering sky-high fees tacked on to airfares. more good news. paying extra to check bags, pick a seat, even board early. lawmakers say, enough's enough. here's t.j. winick. >> reporter: the friendly skies haven't been so friendly of late. with carriers charging more, for everything from extra leg room
to pillows. the ceo of spirit airlines, which will begin imposing fees for carry-on bags starting next month, got an earful from lawmakers. >> did you realize more by unbundling and charging them a little bit less on the fare but a lot more for the bags? >> no. the average fare we collect from these customers dropped each year -- >> okay, so you did it as a public service, that's good. >> reporter: sarcasm aside, airlines collected $7.8 billion last year in ancillary fees. most of which used to be included in the price of a ticket. in a new report, the government accountability office insists many of those fees are hidden. >> the published fare used by many consumers to choose flights does not clearly represent the actual cost of travel once the new fees are added. >> reporter: the department of transportation is making several recommendations so that all fees are disclosed to the customer up front. they include clear full-price advertising, reimbursement of baggage fees when bags are misplaced or lost by the airlines, requiring airlines to
provide travel booking services with accurate, up-to-date information on fees and ticket costs. >> i just want to say to the airlines, they don't exercise restraint, that there's going to be a continuing outcry for the traveling public. and you're going to have some kind of regulation that you won't like. >> reporter: spirit's ceo says its customers are still getting a deal even with the carry-on fees because the overall cost of flying with the airline is still cheaper than the competition. t.j. winick, abc news, washington. >> get ready to bring your calculator along. if you're getting onto spirit airlines. >> it's so frustrating. roll through some of these numbers here. >> if you want to pick your seat in advance it's going to cost you $8 to $60, depending on the seat. >> that's ridiculous. >> can you imagine? an extra 60 bucks because you want the aisle. drinks two bucks. i hope the water is free. you know you get dehydrated on the plane. >> a couple of things tick me off about the airlines. one, they give you a little
pressure test. bp's big step forward to cap oil gushing into the gulf. what's next in this important phase. then, critical connection. was bp involved in the release of a jailed terrorist? >> it's almost too disgusting to fathom. >> the investigation. and, drug decision. the fda's big move regarding this risky medicine. it's thursday, july 15th. >> from abc news, this is "world news now." >> and good morning, everybody, i'm rob nelson. >> i'm tanya rivero in for vinita nair. the next 48 hours are crucial for engineers trying to stop oil from gushing into the
gulf. bp has started to test the new cap covering a broken well. >> a leaky valve needed repairs before the big test. john hendren has the latest from buras, louisiana. good morning, john. >> reporter: good morning, rob and tanya. those on again, off again tests of the cap on that leaking well are on again. now that the obama administration has given the green light. this is what we've been waiting for. the oil coming out of the sides of the new cap on that leak instead of the top shows the process of beginning new pressure tests is under way and could lead to an end to the historic oil leak in the gulf of mexico. >> we'll be releasing an order to bp to proceed with the well integrity test. >> reporter: after a day's delay, the obama administration gave the okay for tests that will slowly increase the pressure on that leaking pipe to see if the newly installed cap will hold. >> i was gung ho for this test and i remain gung ho for this test. >> reporter: the test will slowly close three different valves. bp hopes the new cap fits tightly enough and is strong enough to hold back all the oil.
assessing the pressure pushing up against the cap every six hours. the tests were to have started tuesday but the administration ordered bp to hold off over concerns about the piping inside that blown-out well that extends some 13,000 feet to the sea floor. asking, can it withstand all that pressure? or would the trapped oil blow through any weak spots in the well? >> they have to be very careful when they close it down to make sure that that pressure doesn't come up quickly and cause any of the pipes to rupture. >> reporter: a new abc news/"washington post" poll of gulf residents finds 79% of them consider the spill a major disaster. three-quarters of them say it's hurt the local economy. two-thirds say they are angry. one in three say they now feel depressed. rob and tanya? >> and the nation's top doctor is among those worried about the emotional stress on those living along the gulf coast. surgeon general regina benjamin stopped at an alabama church. she urged people to get counseling and medical help if
they need it. benjamin found out more outreach centers and translators are needed there, because many southeast asian immigrants work in the fishing business. lawmakers and victims of a terror attack 20 years ago have some tough questions for bp. they want to know if the company had anything to do with the release of a notorious bomber. jim sciutto has that story from london. >> reporter: already identified with this, bp is now being identified with this. the release of the libyan man convicted of the lockerbie bombing. four u.s. senators called on the british government to investigate claims the firm pushed for al megrahi's release last year, in exchange for an oil exploration deal in libya worth nearly $1 billion. >> it's almost too disgusting to fathom. >> reporter: a bp spokesman told abc news the company did express concern to the british government about "slow progress on a prisoner transfer agreement with libya, aware this could have a negative impact on bp's exploration agreement." however, bp says it never
mentioned megrahi specifically and was not involved in discussions about his release. 26 libyans were in british prisons at the time of the agreement, though it was megrahi who libya wanted free. for relatives of the victims of the lockerbie bombing allegations sparked immediate outrage. >> i find it absolutely shocking and horrifying that this could absolutely upturn the entire justice system. >> reporter: the british government in power at the time of the bp deal has alternated between insisting it was motivated purely by desire to bring libya back into the international fold, to admitting that trade and oil played an important role. in the end, the scottish government released megrahi on compassionate grounds. told by doctors he had just three months to live. but nearly a year later, he's still alive. and bp, a company already in crisis, may be facing another investigation. jim sciutto, abc news, london. and a controversial billboard in iowa which compared
president obama to hitler and lenin, has been replaced. the original billboard in mason city, iowa, was put up last week by members of the north iowa tea party. now the group says it was a bad decision and misrepresents the tea party movement, so it was replaced by a nonpolitical billboard yesterday morning. more recordings of fbi wiretaps could be played at the corruption trial of rod blagojevich. attorneys for the former illinois governor say the tapes show blagojevich in a better light than those already heard by the jury. prosecutors have agreed to allow some of them to be used in the former governor's defense. that part of the trial kicks off on monday. swiss drugmaker navartis is paying more than $152 million to settle sex discrimination claims after a federal jury found navartis discriminated against women by paying less, promoted few of them, and permitted a hostile workplace. 5,600 women were involved in a class action suit and
a federal judge must approve their claims. now shifting gears to medical sues. scientists are working on new ways to detect and treat alzheimer's disease which affects more than 5 million americans. new guidelines could lead to a diagnosis much earlier. here's linsey davis. >> reporter: first, lee's mom lost her car keys. but when she lost her car, lee knew something was terribly wrong. >> i wanted someone to say, your mom has alzheimer's. and nobody can say that. >> reporter: a diagnosis would have been a comfort. today, doctors say they're increasingly confident there are real indicators to confirm alzheimer's. those tests include brain scans, spinal taps, and identifying genes. but are we now telling the physicians they should recommend this to their patients? >> i would suggest they obtain an mri to look at the structure of the brain and perhaps entertain doing a spinal fluid. >> reporter: critics say those tests have risks, and harmful side effects. >> we are not ready for these tests to have primetime, in my opinion.
>> reporter: another concern, this could double, even triple, the number of people labeled with alzheimer's. but dr. peterson says it's a step in the right direction. >> the accumulation of these various imaging markers and bio markers is giving us more confidence that our clinical decision is, in fact, correct. >> reporter: for now, people worried still look for practical signs. when common tasks become a challenge. sense of time and place become muddled. and the familiar becomes unfamiliar. >> it's hopeful and exciting. >> reporter: for people like lee, who are worried about their own future, this gives some promise that doctors are moving closer to a better way to finding real answers. linsey davis, abc news, new york. the federal reserve is especially cautious about the economic outlook for the rest of the year. fed governors raised red flags about european debt and domestic unemployment and housing market problems at their latest meeting.
they're reviewing options to stabilize the economy and agreed to leave record low interest rates alone. apple will have a big announcement tomorrow about its troubled iphone 4. the device has been plagued by a lot of complaints about reception problems and dropped calls. the company is expected to address those concerns at a news conference. analysts say a recall is unlikely, but apple could offer a free iphone case which they say seems to solve the reception problem. and a much calmer day is in store for minnesota and wisconsin after at least ten tornados hit the region. one of them was caught on camera. >> oh my god, it's got the neighbor's house! >> that twister touched down on a farm just south of the twin cities. the tornado was accompanied by heavy rain and hail but no major injuries were reported. wow, crazy stuff. >> dramatic video. here now is your thursday forecast. those severe storms move south and west today. 80-mile-an-hour winds, hail, and
tornados are possible from st. louis up to detroit. thunderstorms from the carolinas down to south florida. severe weather east of denver. hot and humid from texas up to the midwest. >> and you're going to see 90s from dallas to detroit, with very high humidity, mostly 80s in the northeast. 78 in seattle. 88 in billings. and 95 in salt lake city. one of television's best-known sidekicks has been sold at auction. >> roy rogers had his horse trigger stuffed and mounted back in the '60s. there's trigger right there. and a nebraska cable company just snapped it up for more than $250,000. trigger was part of a collection from a now-closed roy rogers/dale evans museum. >> some of rogers' kids did not approve of the sale but his son said if his dad had his way he would have been stuffed and sold right along with trigger. >> we're glad that didn't happen. >> yeah, that's a nice thought, wow. all right. we'll be right back with more "world news now" after this,
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a little more than 24 million people watched the world cup final in the u.s., setting a record for the most-watched soccer game in u.s. tv history. now that the tournament is over, will americans stay with the sport and become fans of major league soccer? joining me is the mls' latest attempt to attract viewers. one of the biggest names in the game, france's thierry henry, who today officially becomes a member of the new york red bulls. hello, sir, congratulations. >> thanks for having me. >> you have a long history in new york. how excited are you to be one of the athletes here in the big
apple? >> i'm happy to be here. i'm familiar with the town. a lot of my friends are living here. so for me new york is the best city. it is my favorite city. i'm looking forward to live here and being able to enjoy my game and play with the red bulls. >> you said you even vacation here so you're familiar with the city. >> yes, i come here quite often. >> very nice. what do you really think it will take from your perspective to make soccer as big here as it is overseas, meaning keeping americans' interest even beyond the world cup? >> i don't think that, as you said about how many people did watch the final of the world cup, i think the u.s. was there a lot, the way they played in the world cup was tremendous, finishing in their group in front of england. that's not an easy thing to do and they did it. they were unfortunate to go out. hopefully that can carry on with
the league. me coming in and maybe some other players coming will hopefully attract some people to watch the game. >> you said you think you can maybe help grow american interest in soccer, even beyond the world cup just in the regular soccer season as well? >> yeah, hopefully i can do it with my team. you know, it's certainly a me thing if you know what i'm saying. i'm going to do my best to try to help. you guys already have some great players playing. just quickly like this, thinking about landon donovan going last year to the premiership to play for everton and doing well and doing well for his national team. those type of guys are going to help. hopefully we can do it. >> new yorks obviously is a sports mecca. knicks, yankees. huge sports town. how do you come here and carve out a name for yourself in a town jam packed with rock star
athletes? >> i'm a fan of the yankees myself. the yankees are always going to be the yankees. >> why do you say that? >> at the end of the day it is the truth. that's how it is. i'm going to try my best to make this team successful with my teammates. hopefully we can get some fans along. >> what's the goal here in new york? bring back that title? how quickly? >> well, you can never know. hopefully we can wait every year. you know. that's not always that easy and that simple. but only thing i can say is i'm a competitor and i came here to play football. i'm fully committed to the cause and i can't wait to play for this team. >> we're so excited to have you here. best of luck to you. bring home a title to the big apple for sure. >> hopefully. >> best of luck, man. >> thank you. >> you're watching "world news now." we'll be back with more after this.
it is that time again. >> my favorite part of the show. i can't get enough of the story today. the big reunion between bristol palin and levi johnston. they are engaged. they had this big cover on "us weekly." there's the cover of the magazine now. we're getting married, getting back together again after all this drama, all the back and forth between sarah palin and levi. now the couple is getting back together, they're engaged. this strikes me as odd. how nasty the war of words was between sarah and levi. >> the other thing i love about this story is according to "us weekly," the couple told the magazine they are not going to engage in any more sex until they get married. that's sweet.
>> have fun with that, levi. also the other big rumor here is that it could lead to a reality show. some people are reporting all this is a precursor to another announcement coming in a few more weeks they're going to do this kind of reality show, tracing their life, following them throughout the day. so who knows. >> online it's said the alaskan blogosphere is lit up with this rumor this is all for a reality show. >> it would not surprise me at all if that is in fact true. we'll talk about that in a few weeks, guys. >> even if it wasn't for a reality show i'm sure they're going to get a reality show. >> would you watch? >> absolutely, you know you would watch. >> i have to watch that one too. >> you know you would watch. speaking of other nuptials. chelsea clinton as we know is about to get married to marc mezvinsky. they have chosen rhinebeck as the site of their wedding and they have quite a star-studded guest list. get this. the commander in chief, president barack obama himself, is expected to attend the wedding. >> at the end of this month, july 31st, they're tying the knot. >> that's right. and there's a couple of other
big stars. barbra streisand, kate capshaw, steven spielberg. i mean, they've got quite a list of luminaries attending their wedding. >> big wedding when two presidents are in the house. >> absolutely. >> i have a lot of respect for chelsea. despite all her parents' extremely public life and scandal, she's gone on to have a fairly normal life. i hope she has a good wedding. >> she's kept it very private. good for her. exactly. >> on the flip side of things, some news about one of my favorite people in hollywood, jennifer aniston. obviously everyone knew about the big breakup with brad, brangelina. jen's in some triangle now. the new guy she's dating, chris gartin, the actor from "true blood," apparently his ex-wife is one of jen's good friends, joann gartin. >> ouch. >> apparently joann is not happy one of her good friends and her exhusband have now gotten together, apparently are dating. jen's tumultuous love life continues. >> that's definitely got to
hurt. apparently she was quoted as saying, i don't care, but her mother-in-law says that it's caused her a lot of heartache. >> wasn't happy. she's had a tumultuous -- there's this guy code and girl code, you don't date -- >> no. >> you understand those little rules of the game. >> you don't go there. >> we should mention they haven't confirmed they're dating. >> the rumor's out there. >> the rumor's out there, absolutely. all right, now let's talk about a very fun karaoke night. who would you like to see dressed up in costume karaoking themselves? >> yeah, see if you can guess who this person is. we have the cool video here. take a look. >> check it out. ♪ >> wow. >> that is a song by the artist jewel. believe it or not, actually was jewel up on that stage. >> that was a great costume. >> she had a great costume, the makeup people, the whole thing. this crowd going nuts, they had no idea it was jewel. i guess at the end she takes it off and the crowd went nuts when she was karaoking herself. >> don't you love the shocked look of the people in the
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here are some stories to watch today on abc news. funeral services are today for the voice of the new york yankees, bob sheppard. the team announcer died at age 99. some players say he had "the voice of god." the senate could vote today on a sweeping financial reform bill. some key republicans are joining democrats in supporting the measure, but other members of the gop still plan to fight the bill. all eyes on wall street today after the latest federal reserve predictions about the economy. new reports on unemployment could also drive the market's mood. overseas markets are down after disappointing economic news out of china. and finally this half hour,
an fda panel decided to keep a top-selling diabetes drug on the market, even though studies show avandia has life-threatening risks. >> there are charges that the drug company covered up those risks. diana alvear reports on the fda's move and who has the final say on this drug. >> reporter: the fda panel voted to keep avandia on the market. most said only if it's sold with significant changes. revising the label to feature stronger warnings. even restricting its sale to certain groups. in an earlier vote, panelists expressed concern over the diabetes drug's danger to the heart. most stated they needed more evidence before they voted to pull avandia from the shelves. >> what do i know now that i didn't know in 2007? and i have to say, from my point of view, the answer is, not much. >> reporter: much of the debate centered on the 1999 study performed by manufacturer glaxosmithkline. results showed a significant increase in patients' risk of heart attack after taking
avandia. fearing a loss in profits the company kept the study under wraps until a lawsuit forced its disclosure. one fda scientist accused the company of tampering with the study and excluding sick patients. >> it's not a supposition that gsk attempted to influence adjudication, it is documented. >> reporter: gsk scientists defended their methodology. >> there is no evidence to suggest that use increased the risk of cardiovascular morbidity. >> reporter: among the few non-doctor witnesses, a patient in support of avandia. chuck kaiserling says he's taken the drug for ten years. >> in making this plea to keep avandia on the market, i believe i am pleading for my life. >> reporter: the fda still gets the last say on avandia. it's up to the agency to adopt or reject the panel's recommendations. diana alvear, abc news, new york. >> these concerns about avandia first emerged in 2007. the drug is going strong. $1 billion generated in 2009. almost 3 million americans were prescribed the drug.